Mhairi is great at making things. This year she has started producing life-like animals out of the process of felting wool. I am blown away by how lovely they are. We have several around the house now and they are so life-like they almost take on personalities.
These are not easy to do and each one takes between 7 and 10 hours to produce. Mhairi has paid particular attention to getting the dimensions correct as well as the facial features. The two border terriers in the front are virtual mini versions of our own two Borders.
Dougal and Dillon, our pet Borders, sat staring at these for a while. I would love to know what they were thinking looking at these minute versions of their breed of dog.
The process involves using a barbed needle and 100% wool fibre and through the felting process i.e. pushing the needle in and out of the wool to knit the fibres together, combining wool of different colours to give realistic variations in the coat of the animal and shaping parts around a wire frame.
Its a craft which is hugely popular in Japan and the USA. Some artists are able to offer a portrait service to pet owners where their felt creation is indistinguishable to the real thing.
The range of animals Mhairi can do is growing. The other characters so far include sheep, foxes and hares. Enough to get a farm collection going.
The Hare is a popular animal in the felted world. When looking on the internet for felted animals the Hare seems appear more than others: one winning a national arts and craft competition. Here is one of ours from the window ledge.
They can rage in size from ten to twenty centimetres.
This is the start of diverging from a largely photography driven blog and website. We hope you enjoy the photographs though. Mhairi would appreciate any feedback on the animals as she is thinking of producing them for sale. We are also keen to explore art and craft in the widest sense to combine our love of the outdoors in Scotland with a variety of ways of representing it visually.
The picture below is the same as the opening one but if you look at the back you can see Mhairi’s felting block and tools.